On Saturday, I enjoyed solitude for a full 8 hours. Well maybe not a FULL 8 hours, and there was that blissful pedicure on the way home from dropping my parents at the airport. Ok, maybe more like 7. 7 hours of no people, do what I want, quiet the brain, solitude. So what did I do? Well laundry, that’s required since I enjoy clean socks. Then the seasonal clothing swap of putting winter away, and bringing out the summer clothes. And FINALLY hemming two sun dresses that I held on to, promising myself I’d shorten some day when I had time. And they look awesome thanks to 9 years of 4-H sewing club. What I couldn’t seem to do, was kick into gear for writing. Or working out, but that’s probably because that would mean changing out of my cozy cloths.
Why is that? Not the workout thing, the writing thing. It’s like my brain didn’t just go quiet; It stopped pondering and was still. Just focusing on the task at hand whether it was sewing, sorting, or making dinner with a sense of contentment. I learned today as I read in Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way Morning Pages Journal” that these projects I took on weren’t just mental to-dos getting done, but “self-nurturing” projects that help me “deepen my sense of integrity.” Who knew?! And then today, my family back in action, and I moved to a place of fully content, to motivated to share something that hopefully helps you feel good about how you bring harmony to work and life.
My drive to help incredible people like you live a fuller life comes from knowing the exhaustion, parent guilt, and pressure to deliver flawlessly in all areas of life. I was reminded about how many people experience the “work harder” version of success and continue to apply it even as they’ve proved that they are a rock star. It’s like continuing to paddle hard even though you’ve caught the wave. At some point, you need to ride it, and apply the expertise you worked so hard to achieve. They’ll be more waves to catch in the future, but right now, just focus on the ride. The time for sheer effort will come again, but it can’t be a constant in our lives.
On Saturday, I did NOT ride the wave. I did rest and recovery instead. Full disconnecting from the work, from worry, and from the pressure to get a jump on the week ahead. I didn’t have to meet the needs of another person for 7 hours. It’s not normal, and I miss my girls and husband and all the wonderful energy, laughter, and chatter that comes from doing life together. But, it was a wonderful reminder that I am the one who decides to bring the calm or engage in the crazy. And while the crazy often shows up uninvited, I want to bring more calm – to my family, to my work, to my community.
How can I bring the calm in the middle of the pandemic?
- I can show love to others
- I can be thankful
- I can support my co-workers, giving them the time and coverage needed to unplug
- And, I can stay home and knock out my personal to-do’s, too!